Posts from the ‘nonfiction’ Category

OCEAN PLAYMATES

DOLPHINS: Fun Facts and Amazing Photos of Animals in Nature

Written by Emma Child

I have read several of the amazing animals books written by this author. Who can resist looking at the face of a dolphin? Child begins by describing the general features of dolphins like smooth skin and bottlenoses and then goes on to explain there are many variations. I had never heard of the dalmatian dolphin and was surprised to learn that dolphins migrate each year.

Child’s discussion of the way dolphins communicate by echolocation and a whistle sound that is unique to each dolphin is fascinating. I learned that dolphins use sea sponges to protect their mouths from spiny fish and that some dolphins have more than one hundred teeth. Children will be surprised to learn that dolphins live in families like theirs and that they delight in playing with each other. The dolphins’ intelligence level is second only to that of a human and they are good problem solvers.

This book is informative and a great research tool for children in the elementary or middle grades. Only one thing disappointed me. The photos on the Kindle can be enlarged by double-clicking, but this was not simple to do and once enlarged some of the photos looked blurry.

Recommended for dolphin lovers everywhere regardless of age.

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B.D. BEFORE THE DIGITAL AGE

Stories of Elders: What the Greatest Generation Knows About Technology That You Don’t

Written by Veronica Kirin

This book is a fascinating study conducted by a trained anthropologist who became an entrepreneur. Kirin traveled across America to interview members of what she calls The Greatest Generation, Americans who were born before 1945. She wanted to discover what it was like to live before the advent of technology from the mouths of those who grew up living without it.

Kirin developed a list of fifteen interview questions which covered basic demographic information as well as the type of childhood, their occupations, and how technology has changed their lives and those who are growing up in a world dominated by technology. Her questions touched on poverty, economic issues, family, religion, safety, and community. Her conclusions discuss the advantages and disadvantages of growing up with or without technology. Kirin provides a list of participants in an index.

I believe that millennials will find this study interesting and enlightening. As a person who grew up between these two groups, I found the information fascinating.

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FOLDING FUN

Origami For Kids: Easy Japanese Origami Instruction For Kids

Written by Ben Mikaelson

This book is a practical guide for learning the ancient art of origami, Japanese art of paper folding. I like the fact that the author takes the time to go into the history of paper and the art of paper folding. Mikaelson proceeds to give instructions on how to make fourteen separate origami projects. He begins with simple symbols and shapes like the heart, a cup, and a letter. Then he progresses to a cicada, bird, and a little boat. As one becomes more accomplished, the finished projects evidence a growing sophistication with the art form. If the budding artist keeps practicing, he will be fashioning a peacock, a whale, and a dinosaur before finishing the book.

Readers will learn how to create Japanese letters and how Akira Yoshizawa popularized origami in Japan and throughout the world. He created more than 50,000 unique origami designs. Today the principles of origami are used in building cars, microscopes, robots, and even heart surgery.

I would recommend this book for children and adults of any age. Perfect activity for families and siblings to share or art teachers to introduce to their students.

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COOL ANIMAL STUFF

33 Cute Animals of the World (Cool Facts and Picture Book Series for Kids)

Written by P.K. Miller

 

I would rate this nonfiction book three and a half stars. It is an easy read with basic information on thirty-three “cute” animals. While the author includes a picture for each, the photo is very small and does not reveal much detail. Miller provides a few paragraphs that describe the habitat, interesting characteristics, and notable features for each of the animals. He includes google and wiki links to additional images and reference information on each subject.

This book can best be used as an introduction or reference book. Children in elementary and middle-school certainly would find it helpful as a tool to research an animal science project. Readers of all ages will find it informative and interesting.

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TAMING THE BEAST

The Monster Under the Bed: Uncovering the Lie that Drives Us

Written by Kim Fiske

This is a thought-provoking book. Fiske believes that what we know of ourselves was developed in our brains at the age of four or five. She wants to explore our fears by producing awareness of the areas of conflict in our lives, asking ourselves is there a monster under our bed, understanding how that monster was created and what is its purpose, and finally deciding what can be done about it in our lives today.

Fiske believes that the fears that haunt adults were developed in our young brains and persist in adult lives filled with stress, financial insecurities, technological dependence and a sense of self-loathing. All these factors exacerbate the fears and test our spiritual and personal boundaries. We become the product of what our emotions decide that we are.

The author believes that by understanding how these fears came to be a part of us and learning how to love them as a part of ourselves we can work to rewire our brain and value ourselves for what we are today. This is an interesting read for young adults and adults who enjoy a challenging read and are not afraid to explore their psyche.

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DRAGON KIN

All My Relatives Are Dragons: Picture Book for Kids About Dragons

Written by Alice Cussler

The picture on the cover is a bit deceptive. It might give the reader the impression that this will be a fictional account of a little dragon. Rather, the author uses an interesting approach to teach children about dragons, reptiles, and lizards. Draco, the narrator, is a young dragon who has many relatives. He proceeds to trace its history by first going back to prehistoric times and the dinosaur epoch. He then moves on the discuss many of the myths centered around dragons including the European and Chinese Dragons. He travels around the world to show readers crocodiles, alligators, iguanas, and chameleons.

Cussler presents identifying characteristics and brief highlights of each and notes the habitat of each. There are photos that illustrate the points that are being discussed. The language is easy to read and understand. I do wish the photos were larger as some of the details are difficult to see.

I would recommend this book for elementary school age children. It is a good way to introduce nonfiction to children who love dragon stories. Teachers might use it as a starting point for a lesson about reptiles. Recommended especially for children ages five through ten.

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GIVE A LITTLE, GET A LOT

47 Little Love Boosters for a Happy Marriage

Written by Marco Petkovic

This is an interesting book that presents practical techniques to enhance a couple’s love life. In the modern world filled with non-stop activity, couples often neglect to build and maintain their personal relationship. The author admits that he was close to divorce before realizing a turn around was needed.

Petkovic urges the reader to commit to doing something nice for a spouse or partner for the next ten days and to set a reminder to make sure not to forget. It is important to notice what makes a partner happy and to persist in doing those things while constantly adding new ones.

The author briefly explains five little love rituals that involve simple actions like keeping up with your partner’s life and interests as they evolve, spending meaningful time together and reconnecting by simple gestures like an unexpected hug or saying thank you. Readers need to ask, “What can I do to make my partner happy?” It is in giving love, that we receive greater rewards.

Petkovic urges his readers to download his cheat sheet and to subscribe to his list for additional suggestions. While these reminders and techniques will not work for everyone, the general advice is a good reminder that a relationship ignored will not thrive and that partners need to nurture one if it is to remain strong.

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